Hong Kong saw its first cases of the coronavirus a year ago, imported from Wuhan. In a year, there have been reportedly almost 11,500 infected people and above 200 deaths. Hong Kong is currently battling its 4th wave of cases.
Here are 9 things to know about the Covid-19 vaccination in Hong Kong.
1. When will the vaccines start arriving in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has agreed to buy 22.5 million doses of vaccines, with 3 companies supplying 7.5 million shots each:
- Sinovac’s Biotech, CoronaVac - approved for use in the city
- Developed by Germany's BioNTech and US-Swiss Pfizer, distributed by Fosun Pharma The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for Hong Kong - approved for use in the city
- British Swedish firm AstraZeneca - not yet approved for use in the city
2. What choice does one have when it comes to the vaccines?
Eligible members of the public can select their choice of which vaccine they will be inoculated with. If necessary, people can seek assistance for making online bookings from post offices or the estate management offices of public housing estates in which they reside.
3. When can one get vaccinated?
The government's vaccination programme aims to cover the whole population of Hong Kong, but it will be rolled out in phases.
Initially, priority was given to:
- Residents aged 60 or above;
- Healthcare workers;
- Residents and staff of care homes;
- Public service employees;
- Cross-border transport workers;
- Employees in additional sectors: catering, construction, education, tourism,public transport, property management and other businesses like gyms and beauty parlors.
The vaccination programme has now been expanded to all residents aged 30 and above.
Take note that any resident aged 70 or above is allowed to bring up to 2 people with them for the vaccination.
4. Where can I get vaccinated?
You can book an appointment on the vaccination programme's website which includes:
- Community Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in Hong Kong: you can find the full list here
- General out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority (HA): full list available here
- Private Clinics: full list available here
Once you have made your reservation, you will receive a text message with the booking date and reference number.
5. How long does it take for the vaccination process to be completed and your body to be protected?
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be administered in 2 doses, with a gap of 21 days.
- The Sinovac vaccine will be administered in 2 doses, with a gap of 28 days.
- The recommended schedule of the AstraZeneca consists of 2 doses and the second dose should be administered between 4 and 12 weeks after the first.
6. How much does it cost one to be vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccine will be free of charge for Hong Kong residents with a valid HKID.
Information on whether the Hong Kong government will provide vaccines to people who are not Hong Kong residents, or to private clinics and hospitals for purchase by the general public, is not available yet.
7. Who is the vaccine not recommended for until further data has been collected?
If you belong to the following groups of people, you are urged not to take the vaccine until more data has been collected about the testing of the vaccine on similar people.
- People with severe allergies to medications
- Pregnant women
- Immunocompromised persons (such as those suffering from Cancer)
8. Can vaccines protect against new strains of the virus?
Early data suggests that the BionNTech & AstraZeneca vaccines are still able to provide some protection against some of the new coronavirus strains, although possibly less effectively. However, health expert advising the Hong Kong government say that they have not been able to draw a conclusion based on the data available on the Sinovac vaccine.
9. Can the vaccines have unexpected side effects?
There are overseas reports of adverse consequences and some deaths, but no experts in Hong Kong have called for a halting of the rollout.
In a bid to encourage take-up of the vaccines, officials from the government recently commented that a fund will be set up to provide financial support for patients who experience side effects.
10. How does one keep themselves covered internationally?
In case you are an expat in Hong Kong, and are travelling to another country, or back home overseas, APRIL International offers international cover for vaccinations.
For more information about how APRIL International covers costs associated with COVID-19, you can review our FAQ here.
Note : This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
We advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours. Please visit this page for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation.
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